Beginner - tips and tricks for safari in Kruger Park

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
xGumbyx Regular Member • Posts: 361
Re: Beginner - tips and tricks for safari in Kruger Park

My takeaways based on my visits to Kruger (4 since 2012) areaas follows

* You are always going to want more reach and there are always animals just beyond the range of what your lens can reach and still make a good image. When you find yourself in these situations take one or two photos as momentos and then sit back and just enjoy watching.

* Dust wont be an issue very often if at all if you are self driving in Kruger. You'll most likely be on paved roads 50% of the time.

* If you like bird hides I suggest the Lake Panic Hide near Skukuza.

* If you can afford it, try to go on some guided game drives. These are often available from the tourist camps early in the morning and before/during dusk. The guided tours will take you in Game Drive Vehicles (GDVs) into places that are otherwise inaccessible by the general public. If you can afford it private lodges also do private game drives and they generally know where the animals are or have been the day before.

* You might want to consider a second DSLR body in case one craps out. Or, upgrade to a D7200 or something like that where you can tune tune your lenses.

* In place of a new 100-400 consider a used 150-600 (sigma or tamrom first gen, see above comment about always wanting more reach)

*The pool noodle on the window as a support/damper works as does a beanbag.

* Bring backup media to unload your sd cards to and bring extra cards

* Regardless of what you bring, take some time to step away from the camera and enjoy the park. It is a magical place so be sure to take just as many mental pictures as digital ones.

Last but not least, don't overstay your welcome. You are bound to come across amazing once in a lifetime sights while in Kruger. Enjoy them, but also make sure others can enjoy them too. Stay for a few minutes and if others are trying to get a glimpse then move out of their way. Regardless of how excited you are keep calm and relatively quiet, keep arms inside the car etc, don't give the animals reason to bolt or even worse, realize there is food (YOU!) sitting in that car.

Oh, and DO NOT get out of your vehicle other than in authorized areas. Even if a ranger doesn't catch you, there are plenty of park regulars who will get your vehicle registration info and report you. Worse yet, it may be an animal!

I almost forgot, check out the Kruger National Park section of the Sanparks forum.  Lots of great info there.

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